Despite Clarke Schmidt’s recent stellar performances in his last three starts for the New York Yankees, a compelling case could be made that General Manager Brian Cashman should divert resources to fortify the team’s pitching rotation.
The Yankees urgently need a proficient starting left fielder and, primarily, a starting pitcher. Given Carlos Rodon’s worrying injury and the likelihood of Frankie Montas being sidelined for almost the entire 2023 season, the trade deadline provides an opportunity to address these significant weaknesses.
This situation leads us to a potential trade candidate: Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Marcus Stroman.
Inside the Cubs has reported that the Chicago team may be sellers at the deadline, considering Stroman as a potential “rental.”
“Another team who could benefit from a Stroman trade is the New York Yankees. They need another veteran arm in the rotation. “
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The Yankees might pursue Marcus Stroman:
Stroman, one of the more prominent players on social media, often attracts negative attention because of his online activity.
However, at 32 years old, Stroman is having one of his best professional seasons. Over 73 innings this year, he has recorded a 2.59 ERA, 3.64 xFIP, 7.64 strikeouts per nine innings, and nearly a 60% ground ball rate.
Stroman has consistently performed well over the past four seasons, employing a mix of sinker, slurve, cutter, and four-seam fastball. He occasionally uses a slider and a split-finger fastball, but his sinker is his go-to pitch, with 43.6% usage and averaging 91.3 mph.
Opponents are batting .189 against it with a 17.3% put-away rate. Remarkably, his slurve has resulted in a 37.8% whiff rate and a .188 average this season, leading to 19 strikeouts over 48 at-bats.
Interestingly, Stroman’s pitching style results in 52% more horizontal movement than the average pitcher, and his sinker generates 15% more vertical movement.
There is no doubt that Marcus has ample talent and would fill a crucial spot in the rotation. The question lies in whether the Yankees would want to deal with the attention that tends to follow him wherever he goes.
Given that he is a temporary addition with a three-year, $71M contract and an opt-out clause after the 2023 season, the Cubs might choose to sell, and the Yankees would not have to relinquish elite talent in return.
While Cashman will undoubtedly explore the free agent market meticulously, Stroman is a name to watch if the Cubs are considering trades at the deadline.
Given that the Yankees acquired Scott Effross from the Cubs last year, there is a well-established connection between the two clubs.